Monday, April 13, 2015

Guest Blog by Amanda Cooper: Why I Write Cozy Mysteries - and Giveaway - April 13, 2015

Please welcome Amanda Cooper to The Qwillery. Shadow of a Spout, the 2nd Teapot Collector Mystery, was published on April 7, 2015.

Why I Write Cozy Mysteries
by Amanda Cooper (aka Victoria Hamilton)

I’ve been reading mysteries for a long, long time (see my bio at the end!). I started with Agatha Christie, and continued with Ngaio Marsh (a new Zealand writer) and Dorothy L. Sayers. I then moved on to many other mystery writers, among them M. C. Beaton, Donna Andrews, Joan Hess, Mary Daheim, Laura Childs and others.

But I don’t think I really ever had a grasp on what a cozy mystery was until I decided I wanted to write them! I had what I thought was a wonderful premise, wrote the book, worked up a proposal and went looking for agents to replace the agent I had who primarily dealt in romances and cookbooks. The agent of my dreams (aka, my current agent) wrote back and said the premise was interesting, but it didn’t feel cozy to her. I asked what was cozy? She said, read any first mystery in her stable of mystery authors. I did just that.

Aha! I got it. A cozy series often includes a craft, or cooking, and often features cats, and sometimes dogs, though not always. The main character is often (though not always) female. The mystery is what is important, and the investigation takes precedence over everything, but the main character’s personal life will also be explored. That’s one of the things I like about it; I can write about people, not must murder. The skill at characterization I developed writing romances serves me well in writing cozy mysteries.

After all… people are the ultimate mystery. My main characters are generally trying to figure out their life as they figure out mysteries, one clue at a time.

Since beginning in this sub-genre, I have found the absolute best community of writers and readers, those who write and read cozies. They are warm, smart, friendly and kindhearted. Most of them are probably nicer than I am, but I’ll keep trying. As I said to a friend when I discovered all the likeminded cozy readers and writers out there, ‘These are my people!’

And it’s true; they are.

Shadow of a Spout
A Teapot Collector Mystery 2
Berkley (Prime Crime), April 7, 2015
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Avid teapot collector Rose Freemont takes a break from her Victorian tea house only to find a new mystery brewing elsewhere…
Leaving her home in Gracious Grove behind her, Rose is off to the annual convention of the International Teapot Collector’s Society. Her granddaughter Sophie is minding the tea house while she’s away. Rose is eager for tough cookie Zunia Pettigrew to appraise a prized antique teapot she believes may be a holy water vessel from China.

But when Zunia declares the pot a fake, Rose is really steamed. After Zunia’s found dead beside Rose’s dinged-in teapot, Sophie must rush to her grandmother’s aid and find the real killer—before Rose is steeped in any more trouble… 


Tempest in a Teapot
A Teapot Collector Mystery 1
Berkley (Prime Crime), June 3, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 304 pages

Tucked away in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York is the charming town of Gracious Grove, where time moves slowly, gossip spreads quickly, and the scones are to die for...
When her fashionable Manhattan restaurant goes under, Sophie Taylor retreats to her grandmother’s cozy shop, Auntie Rose’s Victorian Teahouse, where serenity is steeped to perfection in one of her many antique teapots. The last thing Sophie expects is a bustling calendar of teahouse events, like her old friend Cissy Peterson’s upcoming bridal shower.

Not everyone is pleased with the bride-to-be’s choice of venue—like Cissy’s grandmother, who owns a competing establishment, La Belle Epoque, and has held a long-simmering grudge against Rose for stealing her beau sixty years ago. Tensions reach a boiling point when Cissy’s fiancé’s mother dies while sampling scones at La Belle Epoque. Now, to help her friend, Sophie will have to bag a killer before more of the guest list becomes a hit list... 

About Amanda Cooper

Amanda Cooper is the pseudonym for bestselling mystery author Victoria Hamilton. She writes the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and the Merry Muffin Mysteries as Hamilton, in addition to the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper.

Cooper’s long time love of mystery novels started at age twelve when her mom handed her an Agatha Christie book and said ‘Read!’. Thousands of novels later Cooper is still reading. And writing.

But besides those two favorite pastimes, Cooper also enjoys collecting vintage kitchenalia, old books, teacups, teapots and other ephemera. Perfume is her secret addiction. She likes to cook, hates to clean, and enjoys time spent with friends chatting over wine or tea. She loves crafts, loathes boredom, and her guilty pleasure is ‘reality’ TV, which she knows is largely fake but enjoys anyway.

Cooper thinks that people are the most interesting study of all, and more than anything, she loves to hear from readers, not just about her books but about anything and everything.

To learn more about Amanda Cooper and the Teapot Collector Mysteries see these pages:


Killer Characters every 21st of the month:

Victoria Hamilton/Amanda Cooper on Facebook:

Teapot Collector Mysteries on Facebook:

Teapot Collector Mysteries on Pinterest:

The Giveaway

What:  One entrant will a Mass Market Paperback copy of Shadow of a Spout by Amanda Cooper from The Qwillery.

How:  Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on April 22, 2015. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. thank you for the chance, looks great :)

  2. I'm just a novice tea drinker---and I think some of the teapots are so very cute. I also enjoy cozy mysteries, so please enter me in your contest.

  3. This is my kind of book - tea, a mystery, and good writing! Thank you for the giveaway!

  4. Thanks for this wonderful feature and great giveaway. I love tea and have been a tea drinker for 60 years. My favorite beverage all year is hot tea. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  5. I'm not a tea or teapot fan, but I enjoyed Tempest in a Teapot.

  6. I love tea, teapots and cozy mysteries with cats on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. I grew up drinking tea with my grandma and have such good memories of her pretty teapots and tea cups. Thanks for the chance to win.

  8. Nothing better than a cup of tea & a great read.

  9. a must-read for me!!
    thank you for the giveaway.......

  10. Sounds perfect for me love cozies&tea,